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IP Network

IP Network

IP Network definition

An IP (Internet Protocol) network allows devices to communicate using Internet Protocol standards. An IP network forms the backbone of most modern networking environments, including local area networks (LANs), wide area networks (WANs), and the Internet itself.

See also: IP packet, IP hijacking

Here are the core concepts of IP networking:

  • IP Address: A unique identifier for each device on the network. Two versions exist: IPv4 and IPv6.
  • Subnet: A segment of the network with devices sharing a common address prefix.
  • Routing: Directing data from its source to its destination using devices called routers.
  • TCP/UDP: Methods for sending data. TCP ensures ordered and accurate delivery; UDP is faster but less reliable.
  • DNS: Converts user-friendly domain names (e.g., to IP addresses.
  • DHCP: Automatically gives IP addresses to devices on the network.
  • NAT: Lets multiple devices share a single public IP address.
  • Firewalls: Filter and monitor data entering or leaving the network based on security rules.
  • VPN: Creates a secure connection over a public network like the internet.

Further reading

Ultimate digital security